Dennis Clifford Named Captain of BC Men’s Basketball Team

(Photo by Graham Beck, Heights Editor)

By Austin Tedesco, Asst. Sports Editor

Dennis Clifford has been voted the captain of the Boston College men’s basketball team for the 2012-2013 season. The sophomore appeared in all 31 games for the Eagles last year and started in 25. He averaged 9.1 points per game and 4.7 rebounds, and was also named ACC Rookie of the Week during January.

Clifford made huge strides during the summer according to head coach Steve Donahue and his teammates. He also played very well during the team’s trip to Spain in August.

"What I think you’re seeing from Dennis is, there’s maturation in every aspect of his game, but what he’s really starting to get comfortable with is really being a great finisher,” Donahue said. “A lot of his stuff came off of pick and rolls, pick and pops, driving to the basket, and he’s really finishing because he’s stronger, he’s more athletic, he’s more confident, slowing down, not being nervous and rushing his stuff in small areas, and he scored everything. I think he missed like three shots the whole night. So it was an impressive performance [the team’s first game in Spain].”

“He was just working,” said freshman guard Joe Rahon. “He came out from the start—and we didn’t play particularly well in that first game, but Dennis was phenomenal. He carried us in that first game. He was really our go-to guy all trip. Whenever we needed a bucket or anything, we’d throw him the ball in the post or give him the ball in the high post and let him facilitate and decide what to do with it. He never stopped working on the glass offensively, and defensively he was great. He’s been a great leader for us too this past summer.”

The Eagles open up their season 11 days from today against Florida International at home in Conte Forum.

Be sure to check out The Heights’ annual Basketball Preview, which comes out next Thursday, Nov. 8, jam-packed with features and analysis on the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

"I think we’re used to it. Even though we had some [seniors] this year I think we’re all used to the youth. I think what it’s going to enable—and the biggest thing I’m trying to get from these guys— is that I’ve got to have leadership. There’s got to be a step, someone or more than one, taking the team and being a leader and taking ownership of this team. Not the coaches telling you everything that has to happen. Somewhere for us to be a great team that locker room has to take ownership and they’ve got to take this to the next level. If you can do it as sophomores, then holy cow, will that help you as juniors and seniors. Once again, it may be more difficult next year because we don’t have that leadership and that older guy that helps you, but I think in the long run we make look back, and I believe this, you’ll say that really makes us great now because they went through all this stuff as younger kids."

"We didn’t name a captain last year, and I think I’ll wake up one day and I’ll know it or they’ll know it. We don’t know it yet, and that’s just part of our issue right now. It’s just a unique team since nobody’s been through it yet. I don’t feel like anybody’s ready to do it if they’re being honest. They don’t feel like they’re secure enough in themselves to lead and serve the others when they’re still worried about themselves, and I understand that. It may happen over the next six months and it may not, but it’s going to happen. We’re going to constantly challenge them to take that and we’ll get somebody, we will."

— Coach Donahue on the lack of upperclassmen given Matt Humphrey’s departure and his squad’s current lack of a captain.